Unmeasured Blessings and Sacred Responsibilities
October 1987

“Unmeasured Blessings and Sacred Responsibilities,” Ensign, Oct. 1987, 57

The Visiting Teacher:

Unmeasured Blessings and Sacred Responsibilities

Objective: To appreciate the blessings of being a woman in the Church today.

“Being a woman in the Church today brings unmeasured blessings,” says Barbara W. Winder, general president of the Relief Society. “With these blessings come responsibilities of a sacred nature. To live and share and teach the gospel, to meet the practical problems of life, to reach out to those in need, to cherish the precious gifts of life and testimony—these are the sweet blessings and great responsibilities of Latter-day Saint women.”

Living, Sharing, and Teaching the Gospel

We can all live, share, and teach the gospel. Some may serve missions; others may set an example of gospel living.

For many women, their most important opportunity for teaching the gospel is in the home. “Since the beginning, [a woman’s] role has been to teach her children eternal gospel principles,” says President Ezra Taft Benson. “In the home,” he says, “a child learns faith, feels love, and thereby learns from [a] mother’s loving example to choose righteousness.” (Ensign, Nov. 1981, p. 105.)

All women—whether or not they have children—can set priorities to help them better live, share, and teach the gospel.

Meeting the Practical Problems of Life

We all can gain knowledge to help us meet life’s problems. Some women may pursue a formal education. Others may learn skills from family members, friends, workshops, or books.

Although Ethel Smith Matheson’s life on a farm restricted her educational opportunities, she discovered the excitement of reading and worked to put herself through college. Her thirst for knowledge gave her children a similar love of learning. In her later years, with poor eyesight, she learned by listening to records and tapes. Her ability to quote the scriptures was remarkable, and her devotion to learning enabled her to better meet life’s challenges.

Reaching Out to Those in Need

Elder Dean L. Larsen tells of being in a store with his daughter when an elderly customer near them dropped a porcelain figurine on the floor. His daughter stepped to the woman’s side to comfort her and helped her pick up the pieces. (See Ensign, November 1984, p. 93.)

Such opportunities to help those in need abound. Every small effort is important—caring for a neighbor’s child, visiting a lonely ward member, listening to a teenager, or making a phone call or visit just to say hello.

Cherishing Life and Testimony

Each month we have the opportunity to bear our testimonies in fast and testimony meeting. We can also bear them every day through our actions. Family service, missionary work, community and Church service, genealogy and temple work—all offer opportunities for us to love and serve and to share our testimonies of the gospel.

All our blessings are associated with sacred responsibilities. By fulfilling the responsibilities, we can enjoy the blessings—both in mortality and in the life to come.

Suggestions for Visiting Teachers

  1. Read D&C 88:118. Discuss ways we can continue to gain knowledge throughout our lives and how it can help us meet life’s challenges.

  2. Read Mosiah 2:17. Discuss how sensitivity to the Spirit can increase our abilities and opportunities to serve others.

See Family Home Evening Resource Book, pp. 89–94, 106–8, 200–2, 235–62, 266–67 for additional information.

There will be no visiting teaching messages printed in the May and November general conference issues of the Ensign. Visiting teachers are to choose their messages (after prayerfully considering the needs of those they visit) from a general conference address by a member of the First Presidency.

[illustration] Illustrated by Rob Magiera